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The Sims 3 Ghosts and Death Guide

Ghost Babies, The Grim Reaper, and How to Bring a Sim Back From the Dead

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This Sims 3 Guide was originally written for the PC and Mac versions of the game, but also will help owners of the console versions - PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii. Please remember some info or numbers may have changed.

Next: Learn the Causes of Death for Sims and Preventing Dying

In this guide, I'll discuss ghosts and death in The Sims 3. This applies to both expansions and the console (xbox 360 and ps3) versions of the game. There's a lot to cover, but we'll learn the causes of death for Sims. From there we'll discuss methods of resurrection, how to have a ghost baby and what you can do with your tombstones and urns to possibly get rid of Ghosts when a Sim has died.

Death: The Grim Reaper Cometh

The Grim Reaper from the Sims 3 playing with Virtual Reality GogglesWhen a Sim dies on your lot, the grim reaper will appear to harvest their soul. The Sim's body will disappear and the spirit will leap into the urn or gravestone. Before the patches came, Sims could befriend and eventually woohoo with the reaper to get a grim reaper baby. We wonder why the developers included this feature initially and removed it. Was in unintended or over the line? We'll never know for sure. Your Sim can socialize with the reaper, and even add him to their list of contacts but he will only come when a Sim has died, so socializing further is impossible. The ability to create reaper babies is a thing of the past. The reaper is known to stick around a bit at times and do some silly things, as in this picture with the reaper using the virtual reality goggles.

The Sims 3 Urns, Tombstones and Haunts

Sims who die on your lot will leave behind an urn or tombstone. Whether it's an urn or tombstone depends on its location. It's purely a visual. When a Sim's grave is indoors, it will be an urn. Outdoors you'll see a tombstone. You can change this appearance at will by moving the 'grave' indoors or outdoors. Note that there are at times bugs that cause a gravestone or urn to vanish with no known resolution. A Sim could die on your lot and leave nothing behind, unfortunately.

The Grim Reaper of the Sims 3 harvesting a soul upon deathAfter midnight, a dead Sim's ghost may appear and haunt the lot where its grave is placed. They'll vanish by morning. During that time, your Sim may interact with the ghost, but most of the time they'll just behave erratically. They may do some odd things associated with their cause of death. For example, Sims who've died of starvation may head for the fridge to grab a snack, and Sims who've died in a fire may take a shower. They can actually break the shower, too. So a haunt can be amusing at first but ends up quite annoying as they disrupt your Sim family's life.

To rid yourself of the haunts on your Sim's current lot, you could take their urn or tombstone to the public cemetery in town. They'll then be a part of the cemetery. For legacy familities, which often have a lot of deaths and could be overrun by haunts at night, it's suggested you make a family cemetery out of a nearby lot. To do this, go into Edit Town and select a Public lot, such as a fishing spot or a park area. Decorate the lot any way you wish with fencing, flowers, benches, etc. Do everything you want the first time because if you go back to that lot in Edit Town after placing tombstones, all of them will be returned to your family inventory and you'll have to place them again. After you've completed the setup and decoration of your cemetery, go back to the game. Pick up any grave that you wish to place in your cemetery and simply go to the lot and place it wherever you wish. Eventually the lot will show up in the town view as a cemetery. You can even rename it if you choose. The ghost will no longer haunt your lot once the Sim's tomb or urn is gone. They'll instead come out most nights like other ghosts tend to do.

How to Manage the Dead in the Sims 3

When Sims who are not in your active household die, they go to the mausoleum at the local graveyard. The tombs of family friends and other Sims can be managed here. By doing so, you can get the tombstone or urn required to resurrect dead Sims, let them haunt your household or add them to the cemetery.

A ghost in the Sims 3 being resurrected by Ambrosia

Resurrecting Sims and Playable Ghosts

Ghost Sims can only become playable by resurrecting them via the Science Lab opportunity that will appear some time after their death. This appears in the special opportunity slot, so make sure it's clear of any other opportunities if you want it to happen. Your Sim will be asked to bring the deceased's urn or tombstone to the science lab to resurrect them. This will bring them back as a playable ghost. Marriages are not sustained after death, but must be reinstated by proposing again. This Sim will come back as a playable ghost and you'll be capable of making ghost babies. After you've completed this opportunity the first time, Sims' tombs may be taken (by dragging to your active Sim's inventory) back to the science lab for resurrection at the cost of $5,000 Simoleons.

To resurrect a Sim from the dead entirely, have them eat Ambrosia. This can be stored in the fridge until it's ready to be served to the ghost. For a ghost in the house, this will usually be a simple matter of placing the dish at their feet or on a table and making it accessible to them. Even in the graveyard, they seem to know what it is and will go straight for the ambrosia. If the Sim was under your control before, they'll be returned to your household if there's enough room, upon bringing them back to life. Follow the link to learn more about making this dish. It will bring a Sim from death (ghost) back to a normal state, and can perpetually halt death due to aging when eaten by living Sims. The Sim's age bar will revert to 0 days at that state in their life span.

You can't make an elder into a young adult with Ambrosia, but you can make them into an elder that has just recently turned. This works either way, as you can keep them from being elders entirely if you feed them ambrosia early enough. More doses of this dish will be required in order to maintain immortality.

Ghost Babies - The Sims 3's Ultimate Playable Ghost

To make a ghost baby, develop a relationship with a ghost as a female Sim and get the ghost to 'Try for Baby' with them. There will be no father in the family tree as though it were an immaculate conception. With males, you'll need to make the ghost playable via the science lab opportunity. There is a 50/50 shot of getting a ghost baby instead of a normal Sim baby when they try this way. There isn't any major difference between a ghost baby and a normal Sim baby, but some people want them because they look cool.

A Unicorn Ghost in The Sims 3 Pets

Pet Ghosts and Ghost Babies

Pets grow old and die, and will appear at night just like regular Sim ghosts. This applies to dogs, cats, horses, and Unicorns. You can get an opportunity to resurrect them, and a male ghost can be bred with a normal female of that pet type to produce ghost kittens, puppies, or foals.

Pet Ghosts in The Sims 3

Pets can only die from old age, and will take on a red or blue color based on their lifetime happiness. Red animals had less than 10k lifetime points, while blue is the color for happy animals that made over 10,000 Lifetime Happiness. Above is a shot with a red cat and dog, both died miserable with few accomplishments. -Thanks HatakeSage

Easy Ghost Baby with Generations: The Sims 3 Generations includes a Chemistry set. Once you've uncovered enough potions, you'll be able to make the ghost potion. Sims who woohoo after drinking this can make ghost babies.

Winding the Death Clock - Returning a Ghost to the Sims 3 Netherworld

You can send a playable ghost Sim back to the netherworld by clicking the urn or tombstone in their inventory. Ghost Sims will eventually need to return to the netherworld once they've been made playable. This is due to the aging feature, which applies even to ghosts. That is, unless you've never resurrected them fully with ambrosia. Eventually the Sim could be resurrected again because their ghost will return from the netherworld in the future. When is not yet determined, but they do come back! They always come back! I hope this guide to ghosts in the Sims 3 has been helpful, feel free to comment on this and offer any addtions or corrections at our Sims 3 Forum.

Next: Learn the Causes of Death for Sims and Preventing Dying

Share Tips and FAQs (78)

Our Sims Forum is the place to go for faster answers to questions and discussions about the game. Use the form below to share your own experiences and provide helpful tips to other readers.

1 2 > Last
The sims wants to know says...
I'm having BIG trouble! I was playing a sim then I went to get a drink and when came back hen turned into a zombie IN DAY! O-o what! then I used the death flower when he died (of hunger) then something Weird happened! he turned into a ghost horse!!! PLEASE HELP!!!
26th September 2013 8:54am
Ellejay says...
Try resetting the sim
24th August 2015 12:35pm
Ellejay says...
no this doesnt work you cant reset a dead sim
2nd November 2017 6:25am
Dantdm1000 says...
I did it and it worked!
9th December 2019 7:05pm
KK says...
Another thing is that you can age up the Grim Reaper - when he appears, shift click on him and choose the "transfiguration age up" (sorry, forgot what it's called) - that is, if you have "testingcheatsenabled true" on. He will lose the cloak, but still have the scythe. He will have black skin, and I mean completely black. He'll have normal sims hair and clothes and will still hover on that black smoke. I'm going to try this, but I just wondered, can you keep ageing up the Grim Reaper until he dies? If he can die, that is, does another Grim Reaper appear? Going to go try this ASAP :)
2nd June 2014 11:41pm
KK says...
Hi again, sorry, I meant "Trigger Age Transition" to age up the Grim Reaper.
2nd June 2014 11:48pm
Sam says...
With the Supernatural expansion, the Philosophers Stone lifetime reward allows you to bind ghosts to your househokd, which means they are playable. I used this to remarry Erik Darling to Agnes Crumplebottom. It costs 40,000 Lifetime Happiness though.
8th June 2014 9:35am
Matty says...
you have a beatiful heart T^T
13th July 2014 10:24pm
A Simmer SepticEye Lass says...
You... You sir/ma'am are an amazin person. T^T now to persuade my parents to get me the supernatural expansion pack...
6th October 2015 3:01am
madeleine says...
hey i might know a way to prevent a sim from dying just press shift while clicking on the grim reaper the click on object then press delete
ifyou delete the grim reaper, no one in your town will ever die.  All the old people will just hang around forever and it will cause everyone to constantly be mourning.
28th July 2013 10:57am
Hannah says...
The grim reaper cleaned out my cat's litter box.. It was funny :)
I love the Grim.  He'll clean up, put a baby to bed, give a baby a bottle, steal candy from a baby, play with pets, play poker, pillow fight and get into a fight with Sims.  And this is just stuff I've seen him do in the last week!
6th June 2013 2:32am
Tuany-Neko-Daisuki says...
My cat died with more than 10,000 Lifetime Points and its ghost was red. Does it need to be the total Lifetime Points or the Points that it has in the moment?
8th March 2014 8:22am
KK says...
Turns out that you can age the Grim Reaper up to old age. Do it again, and he appears to blink out of existence. A message will pop up along the lines of "Grim Reaper has passed away. Old age comes inevitably to all sims…etc." I had a sim starve to death and killing off the Grim Reaper essentially has the same effect as deleting him - the sim's body is just left on the floor (ew). Only way to get rid of it is to delete it.
8th June 2014 7:40am
SimsLover says...
My sim died because of drowning. I have been WAITING for a long time for the ghost to come back and haut the house. I got rid of the pool to prevent any further deaths. Is that the reason she isn't coming back to haut? And just to clarify if you put the Ambrosia somewhere accessible for the ghost they will STRAIGHT for it?
9th March 2014 1:48pm
KK says...
Is your dead Sims tombstone or urn on your lot? Around 12-5am her ghost may appear (it's not guaranteed every night) . Removing the pool would make no difference. If you have Ambrosia in the fridge (you don't even have to put it on the counter or table but you can if you want to) the ghost will usually take it out and eat it. Hope that helped :)
8th June 2014 2:13am
Gwen says...
this helped for me and my sister :D thanks!
4th July 2014 7:51pm
Sinead says...
Another way to get your sim back after they die is to have a pet. My sim went on fire while riding her horse through a ring of fire. She died before her husband could put her out after the grim reaper came the horse interacted with the grim reaper and saved her. The horse was her bff and was close by when she died so I don't know if that had anything to do with him saving her.
8th July 2014 9:33am
A Simmer SepticEye Lass says...
One time, my elder female sim died of old age, but she had a best friend dog and she died right next to him, and the dog harrassed Grim Reaper. I really wish my little brother hadnt deleted that game...
6th October 2015 2:59am
sl says...
Actualy, my sims had 10 level on carisma so i met grim reaper and i asked him to move in so he is live with my sims. I called some friends that gona die and they died iny house but now there is not grave they cant go they are still in my house like gohsts. So i cant move my family becouse somebody dies on my property. So i wanted grim to die, i close him in walls and he died. He dies he just falls down. So I didnt save that game. Grim Reaper has no sense of humor, neurotic, inappropriate, childish and born salesman in sims ambitions. And he has not biography... i wish i never met him... nobody can die anymore
27th November 2013 5:58pm
samantha says...
So my sim is a ghost and her husband is not. My sim just had twins and one was a ghost but the other was
17th January 2014 2:14am
The Tenth Doctor says...
Okay so I created a Doctor Sim (as in Doctor Who) and he new pretty much everyone in the town (Apploosa Plains) and well when someone died at times their ghosts would come and haunt him.

Maybe the Cybermen are attacking again
16th August 2015 3:09am
Alex says...
Lol! Love this!
1st August 2017 8:38pm
Becca says...
Hi Carl if you make a ghost playable again does it have a scary sound while playing with it ?
There are noises that are associated with ghosts since they don't talk like normal Sims but I would say it's scary.  Just mildly annoying.
24th July 2013 6:19am
Sam says...
It makes that spuns though. Unless you have him eat ambrosia
8th June 2014 12:04am
Sam says...
I mean sound
8th June 2014 9:38am
simmer says...
When my teen sim died from drowning after 2 days the oh my ghost oppertunity never cam plz help I really want her to come back to life
26th July 2014 1:10pm
Luke says...
Sometimes it will just pop up randomly even if nobody died. At least, that's what happened to me.
4th August 2018 12:11am
GEORGIA says...
I accidently made a ghost baby via the ghost potion, is there anyway I can turn my baby normal? I DONT WANT A GHOST BABY!
Go back to a previous save or feed the baby ambrosia as a child.
22nd July 2013 8:26pm
BENJAMIN says...
hi... when my created sims die their pictures are diffrent from the pictures of other sims of other families like landgraabs, goths and remingtons... how can i change the picture>>>????
What do you mean it's different? Would it be possible for you to post this on our forum with a picture?
29th June 2013 1:49pm
ilovesims says...
how do I make a ghost baby ! please help me!
Use ghost potions from Generations.   Woohoo with a ghost.  Die, get resurrected as a ghost and get pregnant.
26th June 2013 1:59am
Sims Bubble Girl says...
Just got the sims 3. :)
3rd May 2014 1:50pm
Jessie says...
Ummmm... I had opened a first file, and killed a baby sim. I got the opportunity to bring her back.. But then I deleted that file, and also a few others. I haven't gotten that opportunity again since, even after deleting every file, and restarting. So how do I get the goal again? I waited weeks ( sim weeks ) and still nothing happened, and in the other file, I got the goal 2 days after the kid died. And it don't do it anymore! What do I do? :(
9th November 2013 12:13am
A Simmer SepticEye Lass says...
Sorry to hear that! I dunno, I'm having the same trouble. I can't seem to get the opportunity, which sucks because it sounds interesting.
6th October 2015 2:54am
Katie says...
my sim died but I had testingcheatsenabled on and accidentally deleted the grim reaper before the ghost could go in the urn. now the ghost just lays on the ground and I wanna bring her back. does the same thing apply as above?
13th February 2014 9:21pm
Annabelle says...
When you call a babysitter for your ghost baby and the babysitter gets so scared oh the ghost that he dies and becomes a ghost himself... Let's just say the mom had to rush home from work as a criminal.
11th November 2015 5:04pm
HayleyKath says...
Hi all, I have Sims supernatural & have made a couple female human, male ghost. I set their relationship to 'spouse' when I started the game an tried for a baby but when the baby arrived, it was just a normal baby.. Can you only have ghost babies with the ghosts from the base game, or is having a ghost baby a 50/50 chance like with other supernaturals?
12th August 2014 4:43am
Sims All Around says...
It's 50/50!
18th June 2018 7:03pm
My Simmies Need Me says...
There are some things everybody needs to know. Kill the reaper, and ruin your world forever. When there's a glitch involving a sim (it could be a ghost) it is okay to cheat with Resetsim to fix it. You may notice that most problems commented relate to both of these things.
2nd July 2014 4:04pm
KK says...
Once someone dies and the Grim Reaper appears, and sticks around, you can interact with him two or three times. If you keep adding sims to your household and killing them, eventually you can woohoo with the Grim Reaper. If you have the Social Networking skill to level 10, you can use the Relationship Transmogrifer to make the Grim Reaper your boyfriend, and I suppose you can marry him but I haven't tried.
2nd June 2014 11:40pm
Michelle Elaine Ailport says...
What about for The Sims Life Stories??
This website is specifically about The Sims 3.  The Sims Life Stories is not a part of the Sims 3.
8th June 2013 7:56pm
Erica says...
I brought a a ghost into the family via the opportunity not knowing what to expect. Now I have my Sims' mom as a playable character again- will she be part of the family forever now? If I realized exactly what would happen I wouldn't have done that. :/ Thanks for this helpful page, I'm just looking for a bit more info.
29th June 2014 9:00pm
the spore sim says...
so i always try to kill sims with ppl i kick out when that sim is a ghost but on one game i just got off of is it true that fire ghosts can burn stuff down? plz reply
19th October 2015 9:28pm
Meowdoleon says...
I'm playing on the PS3 version of The Sims 3, patch 1.03, not the Pets version.
I married Morgan Flynn, invited it into my household, then drowned him in a pool with walls (I was doing the gold digger achievement). The grim reaper came, a grave appeared, and his ghost appeared. I go see the ghost, get the achievement, then divorce with the ghost. Now, for some reason, the ghost is still playable. This is not really an issue for me (my plan is to move away and ditch him in that lousy house anyways), but its been more than 30 days and he is still playable. I guess ghost stays by default, since you maybe can't receive the opportunity to go to the science lab (I never got it in any case). Maybe it is a glitch caused by the divorce? Anyways, it may be useful for those who wants to play ghost on the console version.
5th July 2018 12:05am
Playalot says...
Sounds like your plan to ditch him (lol) is your best option. Thanks for posting the info :)
5th July 2018 10:46pm
kylle says...
I created a sim and he died easily i was electrocuted 2 times but i die and i can't find the dead man's tombstone PLEASE HELP!!!
30th August 2015 9:40pm
Jacinda says...
how do you conjure a ghost, any, not of a house hold?
It's random.  Most ghosts need to have a gravestone so you're more likely to find them at the graveyard and it's not guaranteed that any will show on any particular night.  Just have to be on the look out.
11th June 2013 8:54pm
Sarah says...
I invited a ghost to my house and now she won't leave. How do I get rid of her?
25th November 2017 10:55am
Playalot says...
Do you mean just as a guest/visitor? If that's the case the visitor will eventually leave so just ignore them. Or you can save and quit your game and hopefully they will be gone when you load your game up again.
27th November 2017 8:52pm
newty says...
i restored a ghost from my mission, but the thing is, its not even in my creation. what sucks is, i don't want to delete the old lady. so i instead have to log out without saving. the old lady will be living with my sims house. and i am not sure i am okay with that.
19th November 2015 6:10am
Mew says...
Can someone help me, I am living in the nightlife city and I deleted Grim, my art place, my gym and my family but it won't let me make a new family because I already have playable family in the game. I reseted the sims a lot. Now I made a new city, still in the nightlife city, I deleted my art place by accedent. Something really weird appered overtop of my sim. It was a red bubble with spikes and a green leafs in one and just below it there was a ghost dog picture. All the dog a I knew in the town are still alive... Help?!?
22nd November 2015 1:17am
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